Fifteen peacekeepers from the United Nations were injured while leaving a rebel area in northern Mali. Their vehicles were hit by explosives.
The United Nations reported that there were two separate instances this week where convoys were attacked by homemade bombs known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
On Wednesday, eight peacekeepers got hurt and were taken away by air. They are now doing fine, according to the UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.
On Friday, seven peacekeepers were injured and taken away by plane for treatment. The speaker didn’t give any information about their health.
Mr Dujarric said that on Tuesday, two explosive devices were used to attack the convoy as it was leaving the UN base in Kidal. At least two peacekeepers were hurt in these attacks.
The extremist group called JNIM, which is connected to al-Qaida, said that they were the ones who caused the explosions on Tuesday.
The peacekeepers were supposed to leave the rebel’s territory in a few weeks, but they left earlier because the situation became more tense in that area.
Mr Dujarric said the United Nations is unsure if the explosive devices that hit the group of vehicles had been there for a while or if the peacekeepers were purposefully singled out.
But he said the group of vehicles is going to Gao, which is on the east side of the Niger River. It should be easy for most people to understand the path they are using to reach there.
The group of vehicles is going to reach the city by the end of the weekend and from there, the peacekeepers can leave the country by plane.
In 2021, Mali’s military leaders, who took power by force and removed the elected president, told the United Nations peacekeeping force, which had been trying to stop a group of extremists, to go away. The UN force consisted of about 15,000 soldiers and had been in Mali for ten years.
The UN Security Council began the process of leaving Mali, and they wanted everyone to be out by December 31.
The UN has been trying to keep peace in Mali since 2013. This mission, called MINUSMA, is very dangerous and has resulted in the deaths of 300 people.
There were about 850 UN peacekeepers in Kidal, along with 150 other mission staff.
A worker from the United Nations (UN) said to the Associated Press that peacekeepers left the base in groups of vehicles because the leaders of Mali’s junta did not give permission for flights to bring back UN staff and equipment.
The military leaders agreed to let the medical evacuation flights happen, according to Mr Dujarric. However, he also mentioned that they are not allowing as many flights as they should to keep our peacekeepers on the ground safe.
After the group of vehicles left Kidal, the town was seized by ethnic Tuareg rebels. These rebels have been fighting against Mali’s military.
Experts say that the violence is a result of the breakdown of a peace agreement made in 2015 between the government and the rebels.
The deal was made after Tuareg rebels forced security forces out of northern Mali in 2012 because they wanted their own separate country.